Vowel Shift, we’re left with some interesting alternations MoE: • OE ke:p-te shortened to kep-te (shortening of vowels in closed syllables) so it didn’t raise in the GVS (MoE kept ) • But the vowel in OE ce:-pan raised to /i/ • Hence, the present-past alternation keep [i] ~ kept [ɛ]
More reflexes of these changes • OE nɔ-su lengthened in ME to nɔ:se (lenghthening of short vowels in open syllables) and then, GVS yields [no:s] (MoE nose ) • nɔs.tyrl (< n ɔ su + tyrel ‘nose+hole’) • Closed syllable, stayed short, and GVS fails to apply as well. So we have nose ~ nostril/nozzle • OE ste-lan > ME ste:le hence steal but stealth etc. • Writ (no GVS) < OE writ vs. write (GVS)< OE wri:- tan
Conditioned sound change • begins with allophonic variation (assimilation)
Conditioning environment changes • Complementary distribution lost because of deletion • At this point, we have phonemic change. • In this case, two new phonemes, /ã/ and /õ/ have emerged (actually, other nasalized vowels also emerged, but we’re keeping it simple)
And this may also create minimal pairs
Unconditioned sound change – across the board
Middle Kannada changes 10c AD to 14c AD Palli Halli, (Village) Pagalu Hagalu, (Day time) Pandhi Handhi, (Pig) Paalu Haalu, (Milk) Poraata Horaata (fight) Puli Huli (tamarind) Pogu Hogu (go) Puvu Huvu (flower)
Palatalization of Latin k
Sound-Syntax • Sound change can have important consequences for morphology, and ultimately for syntax
Latin singular noun paradigms
‘… and exceptionless’ Consider: OE cnafa [knava] > ModE [nejv] ‘knave’ OE cniht [knixt] > ModE [najt] ‘knight’ So what’s the rule? Modern English reflex of OE cyning [kyniŋ] > [kiŋ] Rule: k Ø / -n Sound change is uniform
The Comparative Method If we assume that sound-change is regular and exceptionless in this way, we can use systematic comparison of languages to see the relationships between them. This is known as the Comparative Method .
The Comparative Method: Part II Sanskrit Greek Latin Gothic English PIE pita pate:r pate:r fadar father *p ter- padam poda pedem fotu foot *ped- bhratar p h rate:r frate:r broþar brother *bhrater- bharami p h ero fero baira bear *bher- sanah hene: senex sinista [senile] *sen- tris tre:s þri three *trei- deka dekem taihun ten *dekm- he-katon kentum hund(raþ) hundred *dkm-tom-
Grimm’s law, Rasmus Rask Aspirated sounds > fricatives, voiced > voiced stops
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- Test, Cole, Language family, Indo-European languages, Mata